For nearly 11 years, I have worked as a software designer for a Tech company in downtown NYC. But beginning this Saturday, I will finally be pursuing my dream of being a full-time portrait photographer focusing on infants, children and family portraits.
This week has been bittersweet for me. I’ve been finishing up a large chapter of my life and getting ready to begin a completely new one. I’m excited for the road ahead, and the opportunity to capture beautiful and fun moments with my camera, but at the same time, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with emotion about the company I’m leaving behind.
I had the opportunity to speak to our entire design team, and before I could even start, the tears started to fall. I didn’t think I would get through what I wanted to say to everyone. I chose to share some of the things I’ve learned in the years at our company, many of which will make me better anywhere I go:
- There is no such thing as negative feedback. If you are looking to improve – whether it is a product or yourself – you need to take every ounce of feedback you receive as a way to grow and make things better.
- Don’t worry about being realistic in a brainstorming. Let all the ideas come out first, and later you can figure out what can actually be done now.
- There is almost always an easier way. As a software designer focused on usability, I feel that I look at everything differently, not just with computers but in my life, too. I often try to determine what takes too long or is too frustrating and work with others to figure out an easier way. (It’s a good exercise to ask yourself “what is the most frustrating part of your day/week, etc., and then think about how to fix it).
- Be an optimist. Focus on the happy thoughts. In times of change, focus on the positive things that change can bring and keep going. (Go read the blogs on ‘The Energy Project’)
- You are not handed initiative, you need to take it. This was highly encouraged at my company, and I often felt I was at my best when I just saw something wrong and made a plan to fix it. Just go do something. (Another motivator on this topic – Read ‘Poke the Box’ by Seth Godin).